Daniel Payares, Internet of Things, iot, UNCON2015, unConference

unConference 2015 Session: What’s the thing with the “Internet of Things”?

By Daniel Payares, Electrical Engineer and recent MBA graduate from
Hult IBS. Passionate about innovation, sustainability and strategic

Just like the Cloud was on everyone’s mouth a couple of
years ago, the “Internet of Things” (or IoT) is one of the most important
trends in technology right now. A group of technology professionals and enthusiast
at this year’s MassTLC unConference had an interesting discussion on IoT and
its main drivers, concerns and applications.
With the IoT, physical objects equipped with sensors and
network capabilities can collect and exchange data with each other. A great debate
circled on the true value of IoT, and whether it rested in the added
convenience for the customer, the increased amount of data and information for
the provider, or ultimately a combination of both.  Also, if it was startups or established
companies who were playing a bigger role in developing IoT and its
applications. In this case, a head start was given to the incumbents,
especially after the eventful last couple of weeks buzzing with new launches
from Amazon, Microsoft and IBM.
The group pondered about the current and potential
applications of IoT. From the smart thermostats and fire-alarms provided by
Google’s Nest, activity trackers like Fitbit, and major applications in supply
chain and shipping tracking, to automatic maintenance and repairs done online,
applications in the restaurant and hospitaility industries, ending with smart
home appliances that could automatically order groceries for you (similar to
Amazon’s new Dash system). The conclusion? The possibilities with IoT are
However, there is still a lot of question marks with IoT. In
fact, the most discussed topic revolved about security and privacy issues with
IoT. Although everyone in the group agreed that IoT is already making its way
into our lives, with all signs pointing to this trend increasing in the future,
people showed concern about the amount of personal information that could be
hacked and the dangers associate it with it. One important driver of this
problem is the lack of a unified standard to support the IoT platform, since
every provider of the service tries to push its own procedures.

Ultimately, IoT is not just a fade and is here to stay. The
big companies are already starting to see the incredible opportunities and
advantages of using it, while entrepreneurs have now a new playing field to
explore and possible create the next big thing.

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